On January 5, 2011, former Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy stepped in as Governor of Connecticut. This is the first time Connecticut has had a Democratic Governor in twenty years or in other words two decades.
For the time being, Mr. Malloy has made both interim and regular appointments to the different Connecticut departments, agencies and his own office which led to eight special elections for seats in the lower and higher chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly. The nineth election is because of state Senator Thomas Gaffey (D – Meriden) who resigned because he pled guilty to misdemeanors in six countrywide trips after which he reimbursed his travel costs with both the state of Connecticut and his political action committee.
The new administration faces a massive deficit for a small state like Connecticut – roughly $3.5 billion. How much of it will be addressed as raises in taxes, cuts in spending or more borrowing is about to be found out but for such a short period of time Governor Malloy and his team have done a lot working on it.
Contrary to the conventional belief – a belief that I will question for you in a future article – although Dannell Malloy is a Democrat, I don’t expect him to be a tax-and-spend person. He first announced it in an interview with Stamford Plus magazine – when he was still the Mayor of Stamford but the interview was about his then possible run for Governor – that he is not tax-and-spend Democrat. Meanwhile, Mr. Malloy never ruled out tax increases as part of addressing the state budget deficit, unlike the deceiving Republican gubernatorial candidates who, except for R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel who supported the controversial idea of putting tolls on the road, pledged not to raise taxes at all even though they were aware of its inevitability unless, of course, Connecticut completely privatizes UCONN. And even privatizing UCONN does not guarantee it, because revenue from tuition will be lost.
Dannel Malloy has a successful history as politician. As Mayor of Stamford has a record of working hard toward efficiency in government and attracting businesses there. Furthermore, for 14 years the crime rate in the City of Stamford has reached one of the country’s lowest. While I am aware of the fact that he hasn’t done it singlehandedly, he should be given substantial credit for the tremendous amount of the positive transformation of Stamford.
As gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Malloy kept reiterating his record as Mayor of a big city and how it is closest to what it is about to be Governor, and he has all the reasons to say it. After all, both positions are top executive of the local and state governments respectively and require the exact same skills.
The only difference between his previous and current jobs is that the Governor leads a much higher number of constituents. There will be a lot more issues in his new job but his energy and desire to make a positive difference in Connecticut is likely to pay off big time. As Mayor of Stamford he and his administration often managed to secure federal grants for better infrastructure and enhanced security in the city. That’s what he has been doing as both Governor-elect and Governor as well traveling to Washington, D.C. and talking to Secretaries from the Obama Administration most likely about what returns on investment, especially in transportation projects, Connecticut might provide the country with.
The new Governor of Connecticut also pledged to bring more transparency and more order in state government spending calling for generally accepted accounting principles, also known as GAAP, a procedure that both he and his running mate – then State Comptroller and now Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman – have been touting for, and Dannel Malloy has had experience with it as Mayor of Stamford. Now he – keeping his promise – and his administration are working on implementing these principles.
I am proud to have been part of Mr. Malloy’s bid for Governor of Connecticut both as an intern and later as a volunteer. I chose to intern and volunteer for his campaign because of his qualities and stances on the issues that I mentioned in this article and because I am politically active both for where I currently reside and for my country Bulgaria on whose parliamentary elections in the summer of 2009 I voted though being far away from it.
History, more often than not, is not written by the people but by the political leaders that the people elect – or allow them for one reason or another – to an influential political position. I wish Dannel Malloy the same success as Governor that he has had for fourteen years as Mayor of Stamford – or even bigger one. He has all the potential to be successful, even at such dire economic and financial times. Good luck, Governor Malloy!